FEDERAL JOB SCAMS
CONSUMER ALERT - FEDERAL JOB FRAUD
Information on job vacancies with the Federal Government and the Postal Service is
provided free of charge. However, many Americans are victimized by scam artists
selling information about Federal job opportunities. These scam artists place
classified advertisements in newspapers, magazines, and periodicals offering--for
a fee--to help job seekers locate and apply for Federal jobs. Some companies go so
far as to use names that imply affiliation with the Federal Government such as the
"U.S. Agency for Career Advancement," or "Postal Employment Service."
Many of these companies advertise the availability of large numbers of Federal jobs
in local areas, while in reality few or none may actually exist. For example, the
Postal Service has few vacancies for permanent, full-time jobs. Postal Service hiring
takes place through 85 district offices at the local level. Openings are announced for
a very short time. Your local post office is the best source of information concerning
current or anticipated openings. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Federal
Employment Information System, USAJOBS is the official source for employment information
and contains Federal job listings.
Remember, information about Federal job opportunities is available to the public free of
charge, with the exception of local phone company charges for long distance calls. Federal
agencies and the Postal Service never charge for applications, sell study guides for
examinations, or guarantee that you will be hired. If an examination is required, the
agency administering the examination typically offers free sample questions to applicants
scheduled for the examination.
The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management urge
consumers to protect themselves against job scams. Beware of advertisements or
sales pitches containing:
If you have concerns about an employment advertisement or a company offering
An implied affiliation with the Federal Government, a guarantee of high test
scores or jobs, references to "hidden" or unadvertised job vacancies, or claims
that "no experience is necessary."
Referrals to a toll-free phone number. Often in these cases, an operator
encourages you to buy a "valuable" booklet containing job listings, practice
test questions, and tips for entrance examinations. These materials may be
inaccurate, unnecessary, or available at no charge from the hiring agency.
Toll-free numbers that direct you to pay-per-call numbers for more information.
Under Federal law, any solicitations for pay-per-call numbers must contain full
disclosures about cost. The solicitation must make clear if there is or is not
an affiliation with the Federal Government. You must have a chance to hang up
before you incur any charges.
Federal Trade Commission, 1-877-FTC-HELP.
Postal Crime Hotline, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, 1-800-654-8896, available
24 hours a day.
National Fraud Information Center (a project of the National Consumers League),
1-800-876-7060, available weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard
Time, or on the internet at www.fraud.org.
Your State Attorney General or local Better Business Bureau.
The Federal Trade Commission works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent,
deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide
information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint
or to get free information on consumer issues, visit http://www.ftc.gov/
or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The
FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud- related
complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to
hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the United States
AS OF: 01-08-07
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